The 14th annual PYAC Community Carnival will take over Clemens Field Friday evening to not only provide kids with a fun time for three hours but to raise money to help support the local youth activities organization.
“We usually have 10 to 12 inflatables and 10 to 12 games so there’s plenty to do to keep everybody busy and it looks like the weather’s going to be fantastic this year,” Philomath Youth Activities Club Executive Director Eddie Van Vlack said.
The carnival will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 2 on the football field at Philomath High School. In the case of poor weather, the event would be moved into the PHS gymnasiums.
S&K Inflatables, the parent company of Wacky Indoor Bounce, is a longtime major partner with PYAC to put on the event.
A new addition to the lineup of games will be Gellyball, a newer game with blasters that shoot small water-based gel orbs — similar to paintball or airsoft games but with lighter impact and no mess. Gellyball is played in an arena that includes bunkers to hide behind.
The inflatables serve as the centerpiece of the event but there are also various games, prizes, food and a silent auction.
Admission to the event is free but games, rides and food will be available for a set number of tickets. Unlimited attraction wristbands will be available for $20 each for ages 7 and older and $15 each for 6 and under.
The carnival represents a major source of revenue for PYAC.
“It’s our single-largest fundraiser except for our Annual Fund Dinner,” Van Vlack said. “It’s important for us that everything goes well and that we have good attendance. We’ve been fortunate up to this point.”
The carnival actually dates back 16 years, Van Vlack said, but it had to be canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
“Last year we had to move it to June because of some timing issues with some sponsorships having not done it the year before,” Van Vlack said. “It was really kind of an experiment to see how it went. .. Just by experimenting, it ended up being the second-best event that we’d ever done.”
The PYAC carnival had traditionally been in September on a Friday evening when the football team was playing out of town.
“Assuming that it goes well this year, I would think that it would be permanently in June moving forward,” he said.
High school and adult volunteers help PYAC and S&K Inflatables run the event and more are needed. Adult volunteers can call PYAC at 541-929-4040 to help man the inflatables.